Using Mobile Apps to Enhance a Physical Product: The monkii App

Apps are a regular part of life these days, doing everything from connecting us to friends to helping us buy products we like to guiding our adventures in a new town. Most of the time, apps stand alone in their functionality, but apps can also be utilized to enhance user experience with a physical product. We recently built such a companion app for fitness company,, and you might find your company’s product could benefit from something similar. When done well, a product/app combination can lead to new market opportunities and increased sales. is a Boulder-based company “dedicated to outfitting customers with high-quality training tools and honest training programs to empower them to pursue a life of adventure.” monkii bars 2 is their portable, lightweight training tool comprised of a pair of batons connected with climbing-grade suspension material. These bars can be used outside by attaching them to a sturdy branch or inside by sitting atop a closed door. provides a variety of exercises to their customers, affectionately referred to as monkiis, to help them get the most from their workout time. monkiis have embraced the training tool because it allows them to get a total body workout without being stuck in a regular gym.
monkii bars 2

The Challenge

The company learned that monkiis loved the training tool, but they couldn’t fully utilize the system when they were exercising outdoors. Jared Arp, David Hunt, and Dan Vinson of realized that, if they created a companion app that could deliver the training programs, the monkiis could have the full benefit of the system, regardless of where they went. They did not know what it would take to build an app, only that it would be an investment requiring time and a talented development company. The team went on a quest to find an app development company to help create their vision.
Companion App: monkii in use
They talked with many companies before connecting with InspiringApps. Unlike others they met with, our CEO Brad quickly understood their vision and could visualize the app in the way the team intended. It was extremely important for their development partner to share their vision. As Jared Arp, Chief Napkin Sketcher at stated, “As simple as it sounds, Brad could repeat back to us what we wanted and offer ideas that were in the same vein without pivoting in another direction. We have a very unique and specific brand, and the app would not work if it was half our brand and half InspiringApps’ brand. Brad understood that and was committed to make the app look and function in the way we wanted it to.”

The monkii App Solution

Like many startups, had a fixed budget for app creation. To meet their budget, InspiringApps recommended creating a minimally viable product (MVP) to get an app into monkii hands quickly. An MVP contains just enough features for users to benefit from the app, without going overboard with bells and whistles that may never get used. InspiringApps also recommended building the app on only one platform to begin with (the team chose iOS) to get feedback from monkiis to guide future enhancements and the creation of the Android app.

Today, both the iOS version and the Android version of the app, simply called monkii, are available in the app stores. Jared reflects, “The app that InspiringApps created for us is impactful because it adds another layer to the product. The app is interactive through touching and swiping that allows monkiis to enjoy a self-paced workout. monkiis don’t have to spend time figuring out the app. They can jump right in and find what they need quickly. In addition, it’s beautiful that monkiis will stumble upon a new workout in the app and learn about things they didn’t previously know.”
Companion App: monkii

The Results for

After only a few weeks of availability in both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store, the monkii app has been downloaded over 5,000 times, in over 50 countries. It has earned 5-star ratings and excellent reviews. Jared adds, “monkiis are really stoked on it! We wanted to make an app unlike other fitness apps. A lot of fitness apps simply instruct users in a video as the user follows, which feels very passive. The app we built provides interaction for our monkii community and will eventually help build that community. The monkiis are excited about the app and using it alongside the training tool will provide an awesome workout in any location.” We encourage you to try it out if you’re interested in mixing up your workouts!

In addition to helping monkiis, the app will also help enhance their product and the workouts they offer. The app provides feedback about which workouts monkiis complete most frequently and whether they like or dislike the workout. This data will allow the company to make product improvements, catch early trends with their tool, and create more workouts that monkiis enjoy.

We are thrilled to be part of the success of and would love the opportunity to help your company take a physical product to the next level with a companion app. Please get in touch if you have a product that might benefit from such an app.